Meet Touring Crews?

Edrick

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Why not ask here I'm sure there's some people that can tell you what it's like. As for the ol go up and ask approach I don't know how well that would work.

Think about how busy they are, and how many times they probably get asked to see the tech stuff. Well maybe not as much as people ask to see the band but still :p
 

stantonsound

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I would suggest meeting as many people as possible. I would suggest that you start small with local venues and theatres. You can usually try to volunteer or work the entry level jobs and meet the local crews and union guys and go from there. If you are talking about music/concerts, try to get into the smaller venues and meet people. Usually, those guys that work there everyday also work the larger venues.

Also, if you are in school, use that. When I lived in NY and went to High School and College there, we were able to go backstage at some great venues. They gave us backstage tours at a few dozen houses in NYC, as well as Boston and Providence. I watched Miss Saigon from backstage and CATS from the orchestra pit.

I worked union - local crew stagehand - when I was in college and learned more doing those shows than I did in the technical theatre classes that I took. It was the mid 90's and as a college student, I got to work everything from Garth Brooks to Jewel to GooGoo Dolls, and more (ok...they were good bands at the time). The best part, they paid very well. Anyone that has worked these type of gigs will tell you, work hard, ask questions, and don't try to impress them with your resume or experience. If they like you, they will probably let you lend a hand during the show or at least watch. I got hooked up with the job because I went into a live music club in Albany, NY and offered to work for free in exchange for an "apprenticeship". I went in 2-4 nights a week, and helped load in bands at first, then wired the stage for each show (mic's, DI's, etc...), then monitor engineer, and then FOH engineer. The guys there asked me if I wanted to make some extra money, and I went to work pushing boxes for concerts.
 
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Footer

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really, it is easier to get backstage by working then by trying to get back there. Go to the local rental houses and start making contacts there. Shows only travel with essential personal, so 80% of people working a show are locals. Get on the overhire list of your local union, they might call you a lot or none at all. Going up to the sound console 4 min before the headliner walks on, not the way to get backstage. I have done it with lighting people before, but you have to feel it out.
 

Edrick

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I'm on our Over Hire list here in Boston with Barbizon hopefully I'll get something one day.... I think I'll stop in sometime this week to pickup gels and see what's going on with them.
 

Footer

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I'm on our Over Hire list here in Boston with Barbizon hopefully I'll get something one day.... I think I'll stop in sometime this week to pickup gels and see what's going on with them.
why aren't you on the IA list? also... when you are on any list, do not tell them no enless you have to, the second you do that the odds of you getting called are very small.
 

Edrick

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IA List? I guess that's why I'm not on it I don't know what it is lol
 

Charc

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why aren't you on the IA list? also... when you are on any list, do not tell them no enless you have to, the second you do that the odds of you getting called are very small.
Don't you have to be union to be on the IA list?
 

stantonsound

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You must usually prove yourself before you are allowed to join the union. It helps if someone on that call list (that is good!) or is local IA will give you your best shot at getting on the call list. And yes, I agree that if you say "no" more than twice, your phone will rarely ring for anymore jobs.
 
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Edrick

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But the mystery question is what is a local IA?
 

Andy_Leviss

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But the mystery question is what is a local IA?
http://iatse-intl.org

Short version, IATSE, or IA, is the stagehand's union in the US.

As far as meeting touring crew outside of working, it depends. On a one-nighter/split-week tour, you probably can't, because time is crazy tight and depending on how rough the schedule is that week, the crew may be cranky.

In the middle of the week on a tour doing week or longer sit-downs, if you know somebody at the venue, or can find somebody on the tour through one of the websites or industry mailing lists (like the stagecraft or theatre-sound lists), often they'll be more than happy to show you around and/or let you bribe them for the inside scoop in trade for lunch, LOL.

When I was on tour, I met up with a few students in different cities who'd seen that I was on a tour coming through their area and e-mailed to ask if they could check out the show or meet up. When I was able to, I was happy to meet up, although I couldn't always do comp tickets because of company policies.

--A
 

Edrick

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Ah well that's why then I'm not part of any union.
 

Van

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You do not need to be a memeber of IATSE to be on the Overhire list. When there are several events happening at the same time they often cannot cannot fill the posistions availible with IA members, so the go to the "over-hire list". I am not IA. I have probably worked as many gigs and made as much money as a lot of guys with their have. Technically, you are only allowed so many hours per calendar year, before you are asked to join. Different areas have different rules. It's a great way to meet the guys that are active in your area. Learn Everybodies Name! one of the best things you can do on an IA call is learn every name you can. If you don't know how to do something ask. You will not impress anyone if you try to do it anyway and do it wrong.

Ok To the point of the thread. I beleive getting on with the local is a great way to go, as is getting on with any local rental/production houses. Whatever you do, be very concientous of peoples time and BS levels. Some guys are not going to mind you asking questions and hanging out, some guys would just as soon lock you up in a caddilac and roll you off the loading dock.
 

Charc

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You do not need to be a memeber of IATSE to be on the Overhire list. When there are several events happening at the same time they often cannot cannot fill the posistions availible with IA members, so the go to the "over-hire list". I am not IA. I have probably worked as many gigs and made as much money as a lot of guys with their have. Technically, you are only allowed so many hours per calendar year, before you are asked to join. Different areas have different rules. It's a great way to meet the guys that are active in your area. Learn Everybodies Name! one of the best things you can do on an IA call is learn every name you can. If you don't know how to do something ask. You will not impress anyone if you try to do it anyway and do it wrong.
Ok To the point of the thread. I beleive getting on with the local is a great way to go, as is getting on with any local rental/production houses. Whatever you do, be very concientous of peoples time and BS levels. Some guys are not going to mind you asking questions and hanging out, some guys would just as soon lock you up in a caddilac and roll you off the loading dock.
Too bad they don't wear signs explaining what their time or BS level is.

Andy. Thanks for the stagecraft list info. I've just subscribed. (And on a side note, a similar list exists for anyone in the greater Philadelphia area, if anyone here is in Philly.)
 

Edrick

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Ok To the point of the thread. I beleive getting on with the local is a great way to go, as is getting on with any local rental/production houses. Whatever you do, be very concientous of peoples time and BS levels. Some guys are not going to mind you asking questions and hanging out, some guys would just as soon lock you up in a caddilac and roll you off the loading dock.
I was attempting to talk to our local sound production guy at an event Saturday, just general chat as we're hooking into his sound system to get the feed and he was talking to one of the new guys he had working for him (the guy must have been in his 50s). Anyways I asked what someone would have to do if they wanted to get involved in stuff like what he does. He said start doing it on your own, he's been doing it for 30 years now.
I figured that I wouldn't press him with anymore questions, wether that be actual good advice, just his personality, or he just doesn't like to be asked questions well on the job. So I just left it at that :p
But that's one way to get into it I suppose, open up your own side thing doing it for small events learn as much as you can and grow. Then again he's also a sound guy and I've heard stories about them. ;)
(not meant to be offensive to any sound guys)
 

Logos

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If the guy was in his 50s thats exactly how it got he got started. He bought or built amps and did it for himself. Remember the solid state 1000w PA amp didn't turn up until the late 60s which was when this guy probably got started. He would have been one of an amazingly small group. I'm not sure but wasn't Woodstock the first major gig that used the solid state PA systems. Just a bit before my time. I got into sound originally in 1970/71.
 

stantonsound

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Please remember that the tour guys get the same questions every show, and have people ask stupid questions. It is easy for them to just give a smart a** answer and move on. It is hard to figure out who is serious and who is just some dude that knows nothing about tech and seeing it as an easy job.
 

Edrick

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Well both guys were in their 50's the one that had just started out with the guy and that was learning, and the guy that started the company. I forget the name of the company K Productions or something.
 

gafftaper

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One other angle is student matinées. A lot of productions do a special student performance followed by a question and answer session with the cast and maybe some crew. These times are set up to share with young people. When the question and answer is done, get your butt down to the front of the stage and talk to whomever you can. I had a student of mine talk her way to a private backstage tour of Miss Saigon with the stage manager.

I take my college tech class to student matinées at the biggest theater in town and I set up a backstage tour for my class ahead of time. For me as the teacher these sorts of things are REALLY easy to set up. You would be amazed at how many options are out there for tech classes. So there's the group field trip approach too.